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Summary

This briefing summarises research on how different communities have become involved with their local libraries to adapt to the changing cultural and funding landscape. The report’s objective is to help council decision-makers draw out pointers for managing their own library services. Some of its key findings are:

170 community-supported or managed libraries are now running, most of which began in 2011 and 2012; 255 more are planned for the next few years, bringing the total up to 425 libraries, or 12% of all libraries in England.

community-supported or managed libraries tend to be smaller ones.

95% of all community libraries are partnerships between the Council library authority and the community; many remain part of the statutory library service.

The information provided below is relevant to councillors, including those in town and parish councils, as well as to council officers in leisure service departments, finance and corporate policy.

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